Troubleshooting


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Why won't Blob recognize my phone, or won't index all its content?

As a general rule, Blob will see what Windows will see on the phone. There could be multiple reasons why Windows or Blob won’t detect all the content on your phone:

  • The phone may connect to “Charge Only”: Many phones will default to charging only when you connect them to a PC’s USB port – they won’t do any data exchange with the PC in this mode. This is a phone manufacturer/software decision. In some cases, this may be because you are using a “charging only” USB cable – such a cable cannot transfer any data between the phone and the PC.
  • The phone may restrict what the PC can see: A phone has a choice to connect to the PC as a “PTP Device” (a Picture Transfer Protocol compliant device), an “MTP Device” (a Media Transfer Protocol comlpliant device) or as a “Mass Storage Device”. A phone that connects as a PTP device will only show the PC photos, an MTP device will only show media (typically just music) and a mass storage device should show all files on the phone. Again, this is a decision the phone makes, not the PC. You may be able to change how the phone connects – typically by going into the phone’s settings and finding the USB connection setting (sometimes this is buried under “Developer Options”).
  • You may need to install phone-specific drivers on the PC: Sometimes, a phone manufacturer will require you to install a phone-specific driver on the PC before it can detect the phone. The driver may be available on the phone maker’s website, and may even be included on the phone itself. We’ve even seen phones that connect to a PC that does not have phone-specific drivers installed as a “mass storage” device that contains just the drivers you need to install on the PC. Once you copy over and install the drivers on the PC and reconnect the phone, it now shows the rest of the files to the PC.
  • The phone may be busy: A phone will only allow a single reader or writer from the PC to access it at any given time. If Windows (File Manager/Explorer) is accessing the phone, Blob will be denied access. You can terminate the Windows (or other) process that is accessing your phone and retry.

Please note that enabling “USB Debugging” on the phone is not needed to allow the PC to see a phone’s content.
 
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Why won't Blob see all my email folders or messages?

There are two separate email protocols to fetch email information: IMAP and POP (Blob supports both). IMAP is the newer and more advanced protocol, so it is the preferred choice. The older POP email protocol does not support email folders at all – it only has the concept on an “Inbox” email folder. Web based email providers decide which protocol they will support – some do one or the other and some support both IMAP and POP. If your email provider supports POP only, you will not be able to see your other email folders at this email account via Blob. If your email provider supports IMAP, you should use that instead.

If your problem in specific to not being able to see sent email in the “Sent” folder, this may be because a separate setting controls this. When you send an email message using Blob, it will not automatically CC it to you and it will not manually copy it to the “Sent” folder. Many (most) email providers will automatically copy a sent message to the “Sent” folder, but some email providers have a separate setting that you have to explicitly enable for this to happen. Please check your email provider’s settings if this is the case. If this problem occurs because your email provider only supports POP, you will have to explicitly CC yourself on any outgoing message you want to save in your account too.

 
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Why do I get insecure connection warnings from my account provider (e.g. Google)?

If you get a warning message that the connection to your email, calendar or cloud storage account is insecure, this is because your computer does not have Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5 installed. Microsoft Windows cannot support the more secure TLS version 1.2 (and v1.1) connections without this installed. Updates to Microsoft .NET Framework are available as part of Windows Updates, or directly at the Microsoft website. Once you install Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5, Blob will automatically start making TLS v1.2 connections to access accounts that support it – you do not need to change any setting.

 
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How can I view the errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source?

Blob logs errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source in a file called “Activity.Log”. Transient errors are surprisingly common – the network may be temporarily unavailable; the remote server may be temporarily over-subscribed and not respond in time; a local portable device (e.g. phone, camera) may be busy or locked by your anti-virus software or the Windows File Manager or too many applications may be trying to access the index files on your computer at the same time. Even a permanent error may be “normal” and expected – the current logged-in user may not have permissions to access specific files or folders; you may have entered the wrong password etc.

To view the “Activity.Log” file, click on the “Help/About” button (the “?” button in the top menu) and click on the “Log File” menu button.

Open the Blob activity log file

The detailed log will open in the default app that you use to open text files (typically Notepad). Blob will generally retry operations that failed, so you don’t necessarily need to worry about the errors logged here. However, if you see persistent errors that prevent access to a specific Data Source, these errors can help identify the problem. Blob will automatically trim the activity log file size when it gets too large.
 
You can tell Blob to log more information (e.g. warnings and informational messages too, not just the errors) for a specific Data Source – see “How can I control the indexing process?“.

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I added a new Data Source but Blob not show its contents. Why?

  • It may just need more time. When you add a new Data Source, a separate background process (called Cataloger) will start to index it. This can take a few minutes to several hours. Blob will periodically update index files during this process, but it could be that it hasn’t finished enough work to bother updating them yet. You should check if the affected Data Source is still actively being indexed or not. To do this, select the Data Source in the left panel and right-click on it to bring up the menu. Click on the “View Index Status” menu item.

    See when a Data Source was checked last for content updates

    This will display a window shows when each Data Source was checked last for content updates.

    A window showing the last time each Data Source was indexed

    If the affected Data Source is actively being indexed, simply waiting a bit might help.

  • For web based accounts, authentication may have failed. You may have entered an incorrect password or the account vendor may have temporarily blocked access till you confirm that your account was not hacked. In the latter case, you may have to log into your account using a web browser and unblock your account. Blob will try to display whatever error message it received from the server, to help you identify the reason for the failure. If you think the failure was temporary and/or fixable, you might want to force an immediate re-index attempt. Select the affected Data Source in the left panel, right-click on it to see its menu and select “Check For Content Updates”.
  • For email accounts, IMAP and POP3 may both be disabled. For Blob or any other email client to work, your email account has to enable either the IMAP or POP3 email access protocol. Many web based email providers disable them by default and require you to explicitly enable them. You may have to log into your email account using a web browser, navigate to the “Settings” section and find and enable either IMAP or POP3. When you add an email Data Source to Blob, it will tell you which one of these two protocols needs to be enabled. Please enable the correct protocol – if IMAP needs to be enabled, enabling POP3 will not work and vice-versa.
  • For pluggable portable devices, the device may be busy: when you plug in a device like a phone, camera etc., the Windows File Manager or your anti-virus software may immediately try to scan its contents. If Blob tries to access the device at the same time, it may be denied access to it. You may have to wait till the device becomes available again, and you may need to issue a manual “Check For Content Updates”. To do this, select the portable device in the left panel, right-click on it to open the menu and click on “Check For Content Updates”.
  • If problems still persist, check the detailed log. See “How can I view the errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source?”. If needed, you can tell Blob to log more verbose information just for the Data Source that you are having trouble with – see the “How much information should be logged when indexing” section of “How can I control the indexing process?”.
     
    If you still cannot identify the problem, please send us a support request.

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Blob does not show me new or modified content or still shows me deleted content. How do I fix this?

Blob will display what’s in its index files, so if you see outdated content the most likely reason is that Blob’s index files are stale. Try the following:

  • Reload the index files: Blob automatically reloads index files when they change (e.g. as a result of an incremental check for content updates). Sometimes this may fail if too many background processes are accessing or updating the index files. To manually re-load the index files for a Data Source, select it in the left panel, right click on it to see its menu and click on “Show Details”.
    Force reload Blob index files

    Note that this will fix the problem only if the index files were up-to-date but just not loaded into Blob.

  • Force a re-index of the affected Data Source: It is possible that the Data Source was changed after the last time Blob checked/indexed it. To force a manual check for content updates, select the Data Source, right-click on it to see its menu and click on “Check For Content Updates”.
  • Make sure periodic re-indexing is enabled and working: Blob will not check for new or modified content at a Data Source unless this is enabled. See “How often are my Data Sources indexed?”. To make sure that Blob’s attempts to check for content updates are actually succeeding, see “How can I view the errors encountered while trying to access a Data Source?”.
  • Check for content updates more often: You may have enabled re-indexing for the affected Data Source, but not often enough. See “How often are my Data Sources indexed?”.
  • Remove and add the Data Source again: this is an extreme step and you should do this only if nothing else works, since it will re-index the entire Data Source again! To remove a Data Source from Blob, select it, right-click on it to see its menu and click on the “Remove” menu choice. To add back the Data Source, see “How do I tell Blob to index a Data Source?”.

    You may wish to add a second instance of the affected Data Source first to make sure this works before removing the stale old instance. This may also help you re-create any backup tasks you may have set up for the old instance.

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I keep getting prompted for my password. How do I reduce these prompts?

Blob will need to access your Data Sources for the following reasons:

  • To index or re-index the Data Source. How often this happens depends on how you’ve configured Blob to check the Data Source for content updates.
  • To run backup tasks you’ve created. How often this happens depends on how often you have configured the task to run.
  • When you manually access the Data Source using Blob. This happens when you read or respond to an email or text message, create an appointment, move, copy, download or upload content etc. using Blob

You can configure Blob to re-index your Data Source less often and run your backup tasks less often to reduce how frequently Blob has to access your account.

For accounts where authentication is handled via OAuth (see “How is authentication handled?”), the account vendors will force a re-authentication based on their rules and Blob has no control over it. For example, Google appears to force re-authentication for some email account once every ~10 days. However, some email accounts, Google Drive and Google Photos accounts appear to force re-authentication only once a month or so. Microsoft appears to force a re-authentication even less frequently.

For accounts where authentication is handled via passwords, you can allow Blob to save the password so it doesn’t have to keep asking for it. Blob will save it encrypted in the Windows Credentials Manager on your local computer only (see our “Privacy Policy“)

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My email/calendar/cloud storage provider locked my account or warned me of excessive use. What can I do?

Vendors that allow you to create free accounts at their servers for email, calendar and cloud storage (e.g. Google, Microsoft, Apple…) generally restrict how many times you can access your accounts on their server per hour, day etc. If you exceed the specified limits, they may temporarily lock your account or return “rate limit exceeded” errors to Blob. If you see such errors, you should generally tell Blob to check your Data Source for content updates less frequently or reduce how often it needs to be accessed to run backup tasks.

Sometimes, vendors monitor your account access patterns and may block it as a safety precaution when Blob accesses it. This typically happens the first few times Blob accesses it, and you may have to log into your account using a web browser to inform the vendor that you approve of Blob’s access to your account.

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My search did not return expected results. Why?

Blob returns search results from its index files, so incomplete search results are usually due to stale or inaccessible index files. Check the following:

  • Index files may be stale: If you set a Data Source to be checked for content updates manually or very infrequently, the index files may be stale. You can either set them to be incrementally re-indexed automatically, or manually check for content updates – see “Blob does not show me new or modified content or still shows me deleted content. How do I fix this?”.
  • Index files may be inaccessible: In rare cases, the index files may be up to date but are temporarily inaccessible because too many applications are trying to access them or because your anti-virus software has locked them. In most cases, re-running the search should fix this problem.
  • For complex searches, you may be issuing an incorrect search: Blob allows you to issue arbitrarily complex searches where multiple search criteria are combined together using “AND” and “OR” operators. If you issue a complex search with both operators, you may actually be searching for something other than what you expect. Try a simpler search to see if that finds your content.
  • You may be using an unsupported content based search: Searching for documents based on their contents is only supported for files that are on your local hard disk (C:\, D:\…), and this requires Windows Search to be enabled. You may not see cloud based files in your search results if you are searching exclusively on their content. See “Is content based searching supported?”.

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I get strange “Unhandled Exception” errors and Blob crashes. How can I resolve them?

First, make sure your system meets the minimum system requirements. The requirement for Windows.NET Framework version 4.5 or higher is the one most likely to be not met. We also recommend that you install the latest Windows Updates from Microsoft.

Some errors are transient and will go away if you stop and restart Blob. For example, “out of memory” errors indicate Blob did not get required memory from Windows. This could be because you have too many applications running currently, over-subscribing the available memory. This can also happen if Blob itself needs too much memory from Windows – for example when you’ve double clicked on multiple “large” Data Sources and Blob is trying to display hundreds of thousands of files in the right panel. Simply closing Blob or some other un-needed application might free up enough memory so that Blob will now work when restarted. Blob automatically tries to restart itself when it detects such fatal conditions. However, in rare situations you may need to close and restart it yourselves.

Blob logs all fatal errors it detect in the activity log. You might want to check the log to see if it gives you any useful information.

If you have the latest Windows updates and Windows.NET framework updates and still experience persistent problems, please send us a support request.

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Blob doesn't work with my Yahoo Calendar. How can I fix this?

There are two things you must do to allow Blob to work with Yahoo Calendar:

  1. Make sure your password does not have any special characters like “&”, “#”, “@”, “$”, “^”, “%” etc. These special characters are allowed (even encouraged, for added security) and work fine when you log into your Yahoo account using a browser. However, they prevent any 3rd party app from working with Yahoo Calendar! This problem is not specific to Blob – other non-Yahoo calendar apps will not work either in this case. Also, this problem is specific to Yahoo Calendar only – it does NOT affect Yahoo Mail.

  2. Enable “Less Secure Apps” in your Yahoo account settings. “Less Secure” apps are those that directly prompt you for your password and send it to the server when accessing your account. “More” secure apps are those that support the OAuth authentication method – see “How is authentication handled?”. Blob does support the more secure OAuth authentication method, but Yahoo Calendar does not (confusingly enough, Yahoo Mail does support OAuth, only Yahoo Calendar has this problem).

    To enable less secure apps, log into your Yahoo account using a web browser. Click on your account name at the top right corner of the page and click on “Account Info”. Find and click on the “Account Security” menu option on the left side of the page. Now find and enable the setting “Allow apps that use less secure sign in”. Note that Yahoo can change this procedure any time – please do an internet search for “how to enable Yahoo less secure apps” if this procedure has changed.

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